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Terrible News From Elk. Paul McCarthy Has Died.

Shane (his son) just announced his death. He died during the night.

I don't know how to best post this, and truthfully, I wish more than anything I didn't have to. But I would rather you heard it from me.

Sometime last night, my father, Paul McCarthy, Passed away.

I'm in shock, and ... disbelief. Part of me is expecting a phone call from him reassuring me this is all just a big misunderstanding. I really wish that call would come. I really wish this was him just pulling one over on us.

But it’s not.

My dad was a force of nature, who deeply cared for his family and every community he was a part of. He touched more lives than I will ever know, and never hesitated to help others, even if it was at the detriment to himself. He was true friend to many.

He once told me he did his best to help people out, as a “McCarthy Boys” way of life. He wanted to ride life on a wave of laughter, and I think he accomplished that, truly.

I lack the words to say how much he meant to me. I’m grateful that we had the time we did. My life would be far less rich without it. He was always there for me, sacrificing a lot as if, as he put “Noooo big deal”.

I know he would want us to celebrate his life rather than mourn his death. He took the end so lightly when I broached the subject he would look at my worried face and say “just throw me over the cliff in garbage bag”. We would both laugh, breaking the tension and moving on.

I’ll miss those moments more than anything. These words aren’t enough, and I was never good with goodbyes.

But I’ll miss you Dad. Rest in joy, rest in laughter. Rest in peace.

— Shane McCarthy
Rex Gressett (left) & Paul McCarthy (right), December 2017


  1. Kathy September 19, 2020

    I will miss that knucklehead

  2. Anita McCarthy Morse September 20, 2020

    I am so very sorry to hear this Shane. He was one in a million to say the least. He was so proud of you and the man you have become. Focus on his joy, laughter and zest for life in these difficult days. Hugs and prayers from Salem, NH (where it all began ☘)

  3. Mark Wilkinson Laszlo September 20, 2020

    Take comfort Shane. Although your dad is missed here, with every transition, a good fate is easiest for a good soul to find.

  4. Linda Miller September 20, 2020

    My sincere condolences to Paul’s family and friends. So very sorry for your loss. He will always be right there in your heart, if you hold those memories close. May he fly with the Angels. RIP Paul. You will be missed by all who knew and loved you.

    Linda Miller
    Representing Salem High School Friends and Classmates – Classes 1968-1980

  5. Will Lee September 21, 2020

    My prayers and sympathy to the McCarty family. Paul was one of a kind and brought many smiles to my face with his Mendocino Bacon articles about the Mayor of Fort Bragg.

    • Tracy Newsom September 22, 2020

      He always caught me off guard with those Mendocino “Bacon” articles! He was so sly!!

  6. Mitch Clogg September 21, 2020

    Nice statement, Shane! You did yourself and your father proud.

  7. Betty Tomes October 30, 2020

    May you Rest In Peace.

  8. Jim Savelle January 12, 2021

    Omg! Had no idea, he lived with my wife and I for a while YEARS ago!
    His smile still rests in my heart!
    Jim & Jan Savelle
    S. Rosa

  9. Jim Savelle January 12, 2021

    Pail you’ll be missed your laughter has a special place in my heart!
    Jim n Jan

  10. William J Coppinger May 27, 2021

    Paul was a Great Friend and Newspaper man. I am sorry for your loss Shane. We had a lot of good times not so good times. The McCarthys are a special family, your Father was a Special Man I was honored to be his Friend.

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